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Tiebreaker Times

2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women

Arah Panique’s confidence shines through in gallant stand for Alas

Arah Panique had barely seen action in the group phase.

Despite limited minutes, she seized the moment and gave her all for Alas Pilipinas Women during its straight-set loss to Kazakhstan in the knockout semifinals of the 2024 AVC Challenge Cup on Tuesday.

With the Philippines trailing by as much as 11 points in the opener, Alas Pilipinas head coach Jorge Souza de Brito switched things up and pulled Panique from the bench to replace the struggling Sisi Rondina.

The 19-year-old standout from National University made sure to capitalize on the opportunity, scoring six points in the Philippines’ 12-2 rally to close the gap to just one point, 22-23.

Unfortunately, it was not enough as Sana Anarkulova hammered down crucial attacks to give the Kazakhs a 1-0 advantage.

Alas Pilipinas failed to recover from there, suffering a 23-25, 21-25, 14-25 loss at the hands of Kazakhstan, which ended the Nationals’ dream run.

AVC-2024-Semis-Philippines-vs.-Kazakhstan-Arah-Panique-7915 Arah Panique's confidence shines through in gallant stand for Alas 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women Alas Pilipinas News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Siguro po, pinakita ko lang po kung ano ‘yung kaya ko and nagtiwala po (ako) sa sarili ko. Laging sinasabi ng mga ate na magtiwala lang palagi sa sarili at sa ibang kasama,” said Panique, the youngest player on the team at 19 years of age.

“Lalo na kay ate Jia (de Guzman), nagbigay talaga siya ng tiwala at sa mga coaches na nagtitiwala din po sa akin na ipasok po ako at laging handa lang ‘yung sarili,” she added.

Panique finished with a game-high 14 points on 10 attacks, three blocks – the team’s only tally in the category – alongside one ace in the loss.

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Alas Pilipinas dropped to the bronze medal match after a stellar 4-0 campaign in pool play.

She revealed that her eagerness to repay the trust placed on her by the entire team served as her biggest motivation in her breakout game.

“Sobrang lakas na po ng loob na sa sarili ko, na ‘Ay, pinasok ako. Kailangan ko ibigay ‘yung kaya kong gawin.’ Syempre, Pinagkatiwalaan po ako sa ipapakita ko lang talaga ‘yung makakaya ko,” said the Naga College Foundation product.

Panique said that this painful loss against the Kazakhs will serve as the team’s motivation heading into the third-place match, where they will face Australia tomorrow, Wednesday at 4:00 PM.

“Siguro po, itong game po ‘yung panghuhugutan ngayon na maging inspirasyon namin na bumawi kami sa second game po.”

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